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Simon Cowell Sued: Reality Show Reject Claims Public Humiliation

Simon Cowell Sued: Reality Show Reject Claims Public Humiliation
Simon Cowell (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg, file)

LONDON (CBS/AP) "You have got a horrible singing voice, Emma."

That's what Simon Cowell said to Emma Czikai when she auditioned in May 2009 on the TV Show "Britain's Got Talent."

Now, the rejected contestant is trying to sue the program's host for public humiliation.

"This program makes a select number of rich people very, very rich on the backs of the ordinary man and woman in the street through exploitation, humiliation, degradation and a re-emergence of modern-day barbarism with all its inherent cruelty," the New York Daily News reports Czikai saying at a pre-hearing review in London.

The 54-year-old says Cowell was responsible for broadcasting her audition clip, despite her writing to him explaining that health problems had affected her performance.

She says her performance of Westlife's "You Raise Me Up" last year was affected by an ailment that caused painful swelling all over the body.

"I haven't got a horrible singing voice when I sing in a fair environment that meets the needs of my particular disabilities," she said during the hearing.

Czikai said during the pre-hearing review on Thursday that she brought the case to retain her "self-respect and dignity."

The review will determine if a full employment tribunal can go ahead.

The Sun newspaper reported that Czikai is seeking 2.5 million pounds ($3.8 million) in the lawsuit.

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